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Yosemite - Best Airport to Half Dome Village

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Apr 18th, 2017, 04:04 PM
  #1
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Yosemite - Best Airport to Half Dome Village

Hello - Planning a trip to Yosemite in late August. We have two nights in the Half Dome Village and one night at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. We will most likely go directly to the park after we land or first thing the morning after we land still sorting that out. We will likely stop in San Fransisco on the way home. We have no problem flying in/out of different airports. So what is the best airport to fly into - Fresno, Reno, Mammoth? Thanks.
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Apr 18th, 2017, 04:09 PM
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Fresno is by far the closest -- IF you can get a decent fare/schedule.

Otherwise Sacramento, Oakland or San Jose.
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Apr 18th, 2017, 04:39 PM
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In August Tioga Pass will be open. If you fly into Reno you can take one of my favorite drives, down 395 past Mono Lake, visit the ghost town Bodie if you have time and enter the park from the east. Afterward, go on to SF and fly home from there.
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Apr 18th, 2017, 04:43 PM
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Of course Mammoth would good too if you want a shorter drive, also on 395, quicker but less to see.
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Apr 18th, 2017, 04:58 PM
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Both Reno and Mammoth are doable. The main reason I didn't suggest them is they are a longer drive and you indicated going straight to Yosemite Valley from the airport. But if you want to take longer (like most of the day) and do some sightseeing en route both would work.
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Apr 18th, 2017, 05:08 PM
  #6
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Thanks janisj and MmePerdu! From what I can see it is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Fresno is it 3 1/2 from Mammoth or Reno? Does that sound accurate or is the wishful thinking?
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Apr 18th, 2017, 05:33 PM
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If you want fastest then yes, Fresno. Most beautiful I think is over Tioga Pass. Mammoth is quite close to Lee Vining where the Tioga road begins, less than an hour, maybe 3 altogether to the valley. Reno farther, 4+, but interesting drive. I prefer the way with least traffic and most beauty, but the valley will be the same from either direction.
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Apr 18th, 2017, 06:46 PM
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Afterward, go on to SF and fly home from there.

If renting from Reno, will there be a steep drop-off fee?
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Apr 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
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>>it is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Fresno is it 3 1/2 from Mammoth or Reno?<<

That is just the drives -- The reason to use either Mammoth or Reno would be to see the bits in between so you'd need to nearly double those drive times - more if you include Bodie.

>>If renting from Reno, will there be a steep drop-off fee?<<

Actually very likely not, If one was going SF > Reno the drop fees could be quite high. But IME there are seldom drop fees in to SF. From where I live there are seldom drop off fees to either SFO or downtown SF, but high fees from SF to home.

Probably same for a one way between FAT and SFO. High fees to drop at Fresno, no fees to drop at SF/SFO
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Apr 18th, 2017, 07:40 PM
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I have no idea. Just check the various rental sites, including drop-off at non-airport /downtown locations. You don't want the car in SF anyway.
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Apr 19th, 2017, 05:50 PM
  #11
 
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The Mono Lake to Yosemite Valley over Tioga Pass and past Tenaya Lake is one of the most stunning I've seen ever. We go to the Valley from Bay Area and when we take Europeans always return via Tioga Pass to Mono Lake then north on 395 to 108 and over Sonora Pass until it reunites with 120. You could consider taking this way to SF and flying into Fresno on your way there.

If you try assiduously for cancellations you should be able to shift your "Half Dome Village" (AKA "Curry Village"--the lawsuit is still pending) to Yosemite Lodge, which is much more comfortable, attractive and less chaotic in high season (or anytime). When I am looking for cancellations (currently doing so in Wyoming and Montana), I check 5-7 times a day on line. Most open up a month before (weddings etc held rooms turn back open) or a week before (deadline for deposit return). However, many people cancel as soon as they change their plans and then it's off their list.

I got cancellations for 7 nights at Glacier (divided between East and West) this way for this summer--still working on not having to change rooms when we are there.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 08:36 AM
  #12
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Thanks for your suggestions everyone. More concerned about travel times and convenience of travel versus drop off fees. Will likely fly into Fresno unless we can get different dates in the park which allow for more time on the front end. Not interested in flying from the East Coast and then driving for 7 hours on day 1. I'm sure it's beautiful I just know our limitations.

cmstraff - I am familiar with the book anything you can in a NP and keep calling for better lodging approach. I did that for Yellowstone a few years back and got in everywhere we wanted to be - it really works. Good luck with Glacier - went there about 20 years ago (before kids) and it was amazing. Have a fantastic time.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 09:29 AM
  #13
 
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If you do fly into Fresno (FAT), you have the option of returning the car in Fresno and taking a San Joaquin train to either Sacramento or Emeryville. The San Joaquins usually run nearly on time more so than the long distance trains.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 09:39 AM
  #14
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Tom we would drive to and stay in San Francisco for a few days and fly home from there. Btw you have given me several great tips over the years I have been here and I very much appreciate your time and suggestions.
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Apr 20th, 2017, 10:11 AM
  #15
 
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I would recommend Fresno! Yosemite is a beautiful place! Must visit! Enjoy!
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Apr 20th, 2017, 09:50 PM
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The Fresno airport is small and very convenient... you can get your luggage quickly and be at Yosemite in less than two hours! ( One hour to the gate and an hour or so to the valley floor.)

Have a great trip!
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Apr 21st, 2017, 06:45 AM
  #17
 
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You probably already know this and it is easier for a couple to do than a family, but the key to being in the Valley high season is getting up and out early. Another good time for hiking is around 6 or 6:30 pm, when most families are eating.
If you read my trip report (click on my name), there is one set of suggestions for managing crowds in high season.

Don't miss the Ahwahnee for breakfast, hiking up from trail that starts across the street from Tunnel View is one of the least crowded trails near the Valley (it's also serious work).

I again highly recommend doing the Tioga road to Mono Lake, then heading to San Francisco over Sonora Pass if you decide to keep the one way rental car. It's amazing. A good place to stay after such a long day's drive is Best Western hotel in Oakdale (reserve early, you can cancel until either 4 pm that day or 2 days before, I can't remember which).

Have a wonderful time, whatever you decide. We are leaving for the park after breakfast this morning--planning to participate in the March for Science in Yosemite Valley tomorrow after an early morning hike.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 06:53 AM
  #18
 
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I agree with cmstraf. Go over Tioga Pass and return on Sonora Pass. Spectacular drive.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 05:22 PM
  #19
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Thanks cmstraf I will read your trip report - safe travels to you and yours.
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